We founded Veezoo with the mission to make access to information as easy as just asking for it. However, this is only possible when you have a solid data foundation with centralized definitions that you can trust. From our own experience working with data, dbt has proven to be exactly what this foundation should be built on.
dbt is revolutionizing how modern companies transform, clean, document and maintain their data foundation. A foundation which enables companies to run a diverse set of tools consuming data from a single source of truth, making it possible to use the best data tool for the job required, without the maintenance overhead and vendor lock-in.
Today we are thrilled to announce a direct integration of Veezoo with dbt Cloud. Our first step in leveraging the power of dbt.
You can use the integration for free for up to 5 users by creating your own account.
The Gap between Data Dictionaries and Self-Service Analytics users
When we were running user on-boarding sessions with Veezoo customers, we noticed that users often struggle to understand what the retrieved answers actually mean. Does the list of shown ‘customers’ include only the currently subscribed customers or also churned ones? A marketing employee running an up-sell campaign even assumed that the customers on the list have opted-in to receiving newsletters.
The fundamental issue is that users often struggle to understand even basic properties of the data. This may lead to wrong decisions being taken or users not feeling comfortable acting on the data, leading to a decreased trust and an increase in requests to the data team. The data team in turn might point them to the internal wiki, a data dictionary, containing descriptions of the data in question. Although this helps initially, expecting your business users to constantly check a siloed data dictionary with ever-changing definitions just adds an unnecessary overhead to answer even a basic question.
This leads to the question: are our business users not data literate or are we, as data teams, not removing enough stones on their path to data insights? Restricting self-service access in this case, although a common reaction, is rarely the right solution.
Bridging the Gap with Veezoo + dbt
Data literacy is about bringing meaning to your data where your business users access it. With Veezoo + dbt Cloud, we are breaking the silos of data definitions to increase data literacy and trust, automatically bringing the data dictionary to the self-service experience.
Going back to our previous example, by syncing Veezoo with dbt’s descriptions, the marketing users can now directly see in the answer the definition of the customer list in that context, immediately clarifying the open questions. An increased trust in data, an increased usage of data and ultimately increased data literacy across the organization were the results. These are all requirements for a truly data-driven organization.
Furthermore, data products on-boarding & training efforts decrease as it’s now possible to encode the knowledge of the data team and push it on-demand to the end user.
Data Literacy is about Language
In the end, data literacy is all about language. We use language to describe what data is about and use language to ask for information. The focus on language and questions as an interface leads to an organization that is more aware of its internal (and often inconsistent) language. This organization is therefore better prepared to promote a shared language with consistent definitions and metrics, which is essential to a data-driven organization. At Veezoo we are creating a future where our data products literally speak our language, leveraging metadata straight from dbt.
So to answer Tristan’s question, with today’s release, conversational interfaces can be indeed fundamentally unlocked via dbt.
How does it work?
Veezoo connects to the dbt Cloud over the Metadata API using a service account. Based on the dbt Cloud Job Id, Veezoo fetches the descriptions of tables and columns and matches them with existing Veezoo concepts. Descriptions can also contain links and other styling, providing you with a powerful way to embed documentation.
If you want to see how simple it is, check out the video above.
Today’s release marks just the beginning of the Veezoo and dbt Integration. With the exciting announcement of dbt’s metrics layer, we have already an impactful next step on the Veezoo + dbt roadmap.